Germany

European Christians respond to refugee crisis

European Christians respond to refugee crisis

September 9, 2015

On Sunday, as the European refugee crisis continued to dominate headlines, Pope Francis delivered what was, for many, an overdue but appreciated response. Reminding listeners that “the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned,” the Pope, quoted in the New York Times, urged all Catholics to welcome refugees with open arms. Yet observers note that Francis’ approach is a far cry from some conservative Christian politicians who prioritize...

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With Changes to German Church Tax, Many Citizens Leaving Church

With Changes to German Church Tax, Many Citizens Leaving Church

July 27, 2015

Although approximately 2/3 of German nationals identify as either Catholic or Protestant[1], German citizens are leaving the Church at unprecedented rates.

Since the 19th century, German churches have had a close financial and bureaucratic relationship with the state. All officially registered members of Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany are obligated to pay a “Kirchensteuer,” or church tax, of 8 or 9 percent of their total income tax—in other words, 4% of their salary.[2]

While the 8 to 9...

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